Indexed on: 14 Mar '13Published on: 14 Mar '13Published in: Journal of Pediatric Surgery
LAARP (laparoscopic-assisted anorectal pull-through) has become an established operation for anorectal malformation (ARM) with rectourethral or rectovesical fistula. The aim of this study was to review post-LAARP operation complications and midterm functional results.Between 2003 and 2010, we performed 28 LAARPs in ARM patients with rectourethral or rectovesical fistula. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical outcomes in 25 male patients with rectourethral or vesical fistulae.The mean age of the patients at the time of LAARP was 2.7 ± 1.4 months. The most common ARM type was rectoprostatic urethral fistula (n=16). Few immediate postoperative complications (urinary tract infection (1), ileus (1), and one case of pneumonia) occurred. Rectal mucosal prolapse developed and was excised 6 months later in 13 (52%) patients. Urethral diverticulum occurred in one patient with a rectobulbar urethral fistula. Immediate postoperative high rectal tone developed in six patients during the early study period (2003-2004). Six of the 12 patients older than 3 years had voluntary bowel movement and no soiling.LAARP was a safe procedure. Shorter dissection of rectum in the intra-abdominal space may be helpful in preventing rectal mucosal prolapse. Intermittent rectal tube insertion may be useful for the patient with high rectal tone in the immediate postoperative period. LAARP is not recommended for the bulbar fistula with a long common wall.